iOS-Like Dark Menu Bar for Mac OS X Lion

Sep 23, 2011 - 25 Comments

Dark menu bar for Mac OS X

If you’ve been using Nocturne to get the black menubar in Mac OS X but don’t care for any of the features outside of the darker menu bar, check out MenuBarFilter. All it does is turn the Mac menu bar color into a dark black gradient, closely resembling iOS.

Download MenubarFilter now or head to the github page.

MenuBarFilter is extremely lightweight, just uncompress the app and double-click on the Panda icon to turn your menubar black. There are no configuration choices or menu items, so if you want to quit the app you’ll have to find it in Activity Monitor and kill the process, or type this into the Terminal:

killall Finder

Why would you want to stop running this gorgeous little add-on? Bugs of course. MenuBarFilter certainly works in Lion but it doesn’t play that well with Mission Control or full-screen apps, and you’ll see some display artifacts and mismatched colors here and there. I’ve been using it since last night and as long as you don’t expect a perfect fit quite yet, MenuBarFilter is a very nice looking customization to Mac OS X.

dark menu bar in Mac OS X

Speaking of bugs, if you’re crafty and want to try and troubleshoot the display oddities yourself, you can grab the source code through git with:

git clone git://

Thanks to TJ for the heads up in our comments


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Customize, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. chucru says:

    On OSX El Capitan you go to System Preferences > General and check ‘Use dark menu bar and Dock’

    Hope that helps

  2. Jeeninha Reyes says:

    Hey I can’t find it in Activity monitor andwhen I tried it in Terminal, nothing happens. I wanna change my menu bar in its default color.

  3. Daniel says:

    nice work but it does’t launch on startup on my mac, leocolor has been discontinued, any other options more colors?

  4. John says:

    Very cool. I already had changed my appearance, this is a nice addition.

  5. Andrea says:

    too bad it won’t work when launching full screen mode in chrome,this is the only issue

  6. Jonathan says:

    I used this and it turned the menu bar into a dark blue. When I killed the process, it turned a light blue. I’ve been tweaking with a lot of themes and such, so maybe that’s the issue. However, I uninstalled Nocturne and the problem is persisting. Please advise, thanks

  7. Greg says:

    check out this version of changing you menu bar to black, it’s called Obsidian Menu Bar… just changes the default image and requires no processing power or app to be running. Supports OSX Lion 10.7.0 to 10.7.2. For direct download go to the developers site or for more information go to

  8. Cr3at3 says:

    You don’t type ‘killall Finder’, because it doesn’t work. Instead you need to type;

    killall MenuBarFilter

  9. mohacs says:

    great one thx.

  10. James H says:

    I really like this mod but it doesn’t work on my 3rd display running off a USB->DVI converter.

    • Hozey says:

      Hi, James,

      Did you find a solution to get it to work on your 3rd display? I can’t get it to work on my 2nd monitor which has SecondBar.

  11. James says:

    Very nice! Thanks.

  12. adam says:

    Nice thanks :)

  13. Kroms says:

    Nevermind. Found it and killed it in the Activity Monitor as it stated in the article. :P

  14. Kroms says:

    Is there any way to disable it? killall Finder doesn’t disable it.

  15. Albert says:

    Very cool twick, haven’t had any issues yet

  16. Joe Knows says:

    There’s also something called Obsidian Menu, it overwrites the default image files but doesn’t work too well with third party menu apps though.

    My main beef with these apps is that it just inverts the menu and and turns the highlight into a psychedelic mess, plus it doesn’t change the pull-downs. Having a choice from Apple would be ideal, but they seem pretty stuck on this whole aluminum thing.

  17. Michael says:

    Nevermind, I just had to put it in my applications folder and not open it from the desktop and it worked.

    • Will says:

      Glad you got it working, because I was unable to replicate your original issue!

      • Denny R says:

        hey i have an issue where it will work for my other desktops spaces but not the first one. I have the program on my applications folder and set to open at startup and it works all over except for my main desktop. Any idea why?

  18. Michael says:


    When I open up MenuBarFilter, the menubar flashes black and then turns transparent again. I go to the activity monitor and the app is still running, but the menubar isn’t black.

    Why is this?


  19. nascent says:

    Wow this should be an Appearance option, looks great but it would be nice if it expanded down into the menus.

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